I will describe my recent work on driven turbulence in relativistic collisionless plasmas, relevant for a broad range of high-energy astrophysical systems (such as pulsar wind nebulae, black-hole accretion flows and jets). I will present results from particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations, which provide a first-principles approach to studying turbulence statistics in great detail. One main outcome is the confirmation that turbulence can be a viable and efficient astrophysical particle accelerator, producing nonthermal energy distributions with extended power laws, which supports theoretical ideas that have been debated for decades. I will also discuss intriguing results on electron-ion energy partition, showing that the dissipation of turbulence naturally produces a two-temperature plasma (with ions much hotter than electrons, as required by models of radiatively inefficient accretion flows).
Princeton University Thunch Talk
Nonthermal Particle Energization in Relativistic Plasma Turbulence
Date & Time
October 11, 2018 | 12:15 – 1:15pm
Peyton Hall, Room 033 (basement)